How many times have you traveled thousands of kilometers and spent the night in a strange city, simply to attend a two-hour meeting the following morning? That’s a long trip for a short meeting and such a waste of time and energy - surely there must a more effective way to travel for work?
Business travelers are well used to staying away from home for many nights a year and, therefore, some may be tempted to pack all their work into a long one-day business trip, reducing in half what otherwise would constitute an overnight trip.
There are some good reasons to make a case for one-day business trips. Companies can avoid hotel costs, bringing the travel budget down, while employees might love the opportunity to stay more nights at home. However, is this kind of high-speed travel good for both business and travelers alike?
One-day business trips: Debunking the myth
A single-day business trip has its perks, but it can often be wearing and tiring. Next, we write a few reasons why you should think twice before packing your entire work agenda into single-day voyage.
Keeping business trips down to one day will save on accommodation. That’s obvious, of course. However, same-day flights tend to be more expensive and available options will be more limited. To enjoy a complete working day, you'll need to choose the first and last flight of the day, which can quite often increase the ticket price above the cost of a hotel room.
One-day business trips are less productive
The idea of a packed, full-day agenda sounds attractive - a recipe to get things done perhaps? The disadvantage is that you will also add great stress to your day; working in a rush can cause errors and bad choices. Will you be fully focused on your business meeting while keeping an eye on the watch to make sure you don't lose your flight?
Next day fatigue
Even if your one-day business trip runs smoothly and is a success, fatigue will hit you the following day. Red-eye and tired, your next day at the office might not be too productive.
Stranded and lost
Expect the unexpected. Delays, extended meetings, traffic. When you're pressed for time you can easily miss a flight and remain stranded in a city you had no plans to overnight in. Last minute hotel arrangements will be expensive. Add to that a new flight back home and what looked like a nippy, cheap, one-day business trip, will turn into an overly expensive sleep-depriving nightmare.
Worse hotel deals
Obviously, you don't need a hotel reservation for a one-day business trip. But eventually, every company will need hotels to accommodate travelers taking longer business trips. Companies that usually let their employees stay overnight will have the power to negotiated good deals with hotels.
Extend your travel for a better work-life balance
Seasoned business travelers know it. Frequent travel with its busy schedule can easily lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. The added stress of one-day business trips will only contribute to extending those health risks. Fewer but longer business trips can help combat the bad effects of business travel. It can also be a good idea to experiment with bleisure, and extend work trips with a few days of leisure. Many of us retain an element of control as to when we need to travel for business. Run your trips at the begging or end of the week and ‘bolt-on’ a weekend excursion! You’re also likely to be able to better secure a reasonable return time.
One-day business trips can be a good option and bring some immediate savings. However, in the long term, they make traveling for business more stressful and less enjoyable, potentially increasing the company travel budget and the health risk of frequent business travel.